Italian Language/"food" in Italian


Dear Chris,  

Can you please tell me if the Italian word “cucina” is used for “food”.

For example, would it be correct to say:

Mi piace la cucina italiana.
(I like Italian food)

Can you also please tell me if there is any other way to say “food” in Italian.

The reason that I am asking is because the Italian section of my Italian/English dictionary gives "food" as one of the possible translations for "cucina".  

But, the English section of this same dictionary does not list "cucina" as a possible translation for "food".  Instead, the dictionary uses forms of the verb "mangiare" as in "si mangia malissimo in albergo" (the food at the hotel is terrible)  

Thank you very much for your help.



Hi Rich--

Cucina is translated in English as either Kitchen or Cuisine. So in that sense, yes, it could be a substitute for the word Food as in I like Italian cuisine (food).

You're right that Mangiare is a verb (to eat) but in their example, they are saying "one eats terribly in the hotel" or more loosely translated: the food at the hotel is terrible.

So they are taking some liberties but you get the gist.

BTW, you can also refer to food colloquially as "il mangiare" as in Il mangiare a casa mia e' buono  (the food (eating) at my house is good)...
Really, we do the same kind of thing in English with the slangy "good eats"...the layers of meaning can go on and on!

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Chris Platamone


I can answer all basic to advanced grammar questions. Italian is not my native tongue, but I have an excellent handle on all things grammatical and can help people bridge the gap between English and Italian by teaching Italian grammar from the English-speaker's point of view.


I attended school in Florence, Italy for 1 and a half years.

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I have published a translation of a short story in an anthology of Italian women writers, and I have had a letter published on the web site of Italian journalist Beppe Severgnini.

Bachelor's degree, Italian language and literature, San Francisco State University, 1984. Secondary Teaching Credential, San Francisco State University, 1990.

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